Is Your Critical Transmission Infrastructure Prepared for Potential Failure from Geomagnetically Induced Current?
The recent upsurge in solar flare activity is ushering in a new season of risk for critical grid infrastructure – especially EHV Transformers. In 2023 the Solar Flare Index went from 15 to over 100. By all indications this high level of solar flare activity is here to stay for a while For perspective, this activity is comparable to the historic problems of 1989.
A solar flare beginning on March 10, 1989 resulted in the strongest recorded magnetic storm striking northern Quebec at 2:45 am on March 12, 1989. Within 90 seconds five 735 kV lines had tripped, taking 9,450 MW of generation off-line from serving a load of over 21,000 MW. The system was unable to sustain the sudden loss and collapsed, disconnecting additional generating stations. Ultimately, six million customers were left without power. Similar events occurred on March 23 and October 28 with lesser customer consequences but additional material damage to system components.
NOAA scientists are forecasting that in 2025 we could experience another similar event – with some experts believing it will happen by mid-to-late 2024. How is your critical grid infrastructure protected? And how can you protect your EHV Transformers from induced neutral DC from Geo-magnetically Induced Currents? Find additional information on OSI Blog Post Here
These Geo-magnetically Induced Currents induce DC current on the Transformer neutral, but in the presence of much larger AC currents. OSI’s device detects a rise in neutral DC current -- free from the masking effects of the much larger AC currents, which delivers the early alerts necessary to make informed protection decisions. More importantly, a Utility may accomplish installation without taking an outage on the transformer. The split-core, outdoor-rated design enables simple installation without requiring neutral disconnection. See OSI GIC Product Data and Spec Sheet Here
Ohio Semitronics has worked with a number of utilities to measure DC currents in the neutral and would be happy to share potential solutions with you. Geomagnetic induced currents from coronal mass ejections are forecast for 2025. Are You Prepared?